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Phoebe cuts down on infectious diseases, launches addition to website

Phoebe officials are working to cut down on the number of infectious diseases. (Source: WALB) Phoebe officials are working to cut down on the number of infectious diseases. (Source: WALB)
Dr. Steven Kitchen is the chief medical officer. (Source: WALB) Dr. Steven Kitchen is the chief medical officer. (Source: WALB)
Phoebe has launched a new addition to its website. (Source: WALB) Phoebe has launched a new addition to its website. (Source: WALB)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

New statistics from Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital show it's making big improvements when it comes to protecting patients from infectious diseases. 

Chief Medical Officer Dr. Steven Kitchen said anytime you have a break in a skin barrier you have a risk of infection. 

Intensive care unit patients are at an even higher risk. 

In the past few years, Phoebe has been working to cut down the number of infections patients get by changing the model of care delivery. 

Specifically, in the ICU Phoebe has staffed one critical care doctor to be in the unit at all times. 

Since then, Dr. Kitchen said the mortality rates and length of stay of patients has been cut, as well as complications like blood stream infections. 

He said in the last year the hospital has had about a 45 percent reduction in the number of central line infections patients have contracted. 

"There's always opportunities to improve and we're always looking for ways we can continue to reduce those because they are very serious and life threatening infections," said Kitchen. 

On Wednesday, the hospital board also welcomed new infectious disease specialist Dr. Anuj Malik. 

In addition, the hospital has launched PhoebeQuality.com.  

The site gives people real-time data about surgical site infections. 

If you need to have an operation on your colon, spine or even a hip or knee replacement, you can see the most recent infection rate. 

The data is information that is submitted to the CDC, however, it usually doesn't make its way onto the website until several months later. 

Dr. Steven Kitchen helped launched the site. 

"So what we wanted to do is make sure we were presenting our most current data that we have available," explained Kitchen. 

The website also has a section that tells patients how Phoebe is working to address the infection rate. 

Phoebe officials said they hope to expand the website to offer more data in the future. 

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